Directorist Review: Best Directory Plugin

Directorist Review
  • Features
  • Price
  • Looks
  • Customer Support
  • Potential
4.4

Summary

Directorist is a fast-growing WordPress directory plugin with a lot of cool features to help you create a world-class business directory. While it isn’t fully matured yet, with enough time, Directorist has the chance to being the best WordPress directory plugin

Pros

  • Lifetime Prices are availabe
  • Live Chat
  • Listing FAQs
  • Elementor Integration
  • Bookings
  • Upcoming WPML and BuddyBoss integrations

Cons

  • Unable to adjust single listings via page builder
  • Lacks a social network importer
  • No Toolset, JetEngine or ACF support
  • Unable to import via WP All Import
  • Doesn’t have multiple custom post types support, yet

Introduction

If you have been looking for a good directory software, it can be easy to get sidetracked with the number of directory plugins and themes available for WordPress. Personally, I’ve created directories for numerous clients and it has been a frustrating journey through various themes and plugins.

Thus, when I found out about Directorist via their team, I immediately said yes to doing a review. And Directorist did not disappoint me. In reviewing Directorist, I was amazed by the number of features they have, some unique to Directorist, which makes Directorist the best directory plugin I tried.

And after spending a couple of days researching on WordPress directory plugins, I concluded that Directorist is really good. As you can see from the table below, Directorist has almost caught up with GeoDirectory in terms of features. Of course, they could do better, but give them 6 – 12 months, and they might just overtake GeoDirectory.

Directorist Review: Directorist vs GeoDirectory
Directorist Review: Directorist vs GeoDirectory vs Listify vs Business Directory vs ACDP

Ok then, without delaying you any further, please find our Directorist Review below. As usual, comments are appreciated.

Things to consider before buying a directory plugin / software

home board

Choosing the right directory plugin or software is crucial when starting out a business directory website or enhancing your current site with a directory. The right plugin will give you features that makes your business directory, great, while the wrong one will give you a mediocre business directory.

Here are our recommended basic features for a directory plugin. They include:

  • Business Hours / Opening Hours – This allows users to know when the business is open and prevent them from being frustrated from visiting the business when it is closed
  • Image Gallery – An image gallery will help showcase businesses and locations to the users. This will help create buy in
  • Listing with Map – If you have businesses from more than an area listed, the map will help users find the closest business to them without losing the attention of the users if they started searching on Google Maps instead.
  • Claim Listing – This is an essential feature in most directory plugins we’ve seen and allows you to monetize your business directory by contacting business owners to claim the listings you have put up. By claiming their listing with you, they are able to improve the listing, furnish it with high quality images and get contacted by users.
  • WooCommerce Integration – Another way to monetize your business directory is by charging business owners to create a set amount of listings on your directory. While this is common, having WooCommerce integration allows you to go beyond Stripe and PayPal and use popular payment gateways in your country. These payment gateways usually charges less per transaction as well.
  • Frequent Updates – While there are many directory plugins in WordPress, the frequency of updates matter, as plugins that are rapidly improving will have more frequent updates and have new features on a regular basis. For this, we advise that you check out the plugin’s changelog and latest blog posts.

Presenting Directorist

We are pleased to introduce to our readers, Directorist, an upcoming directory plugin that has a high chance of being a directory heavyweight in the coming years.

Directorist is a free business directory plugin by SovWare, a Bangladeshi software house specializing in WordPress and JavaScript. Like other Bangladeshi plugins, Directorist looks fantastic while having a strong backend.

Directorist is free, but has a number of premium extensions to extend your business directory. While they can be bought separately, we recommend getting the lifetime membership, which will give you access to all current and future premium extensions.

We were given a copy of Directorist to test and boy, I wish we knew about Directorist earlier, as we previously went with Toolset for a recent project for some Malaysian shopping malls. Toolset did what the client wanted, but with Directorist, we could have built a better shopping mall directory.

Why You Should Trust Us?

We run a WordPress focused development agency with many years experience in the WordPress ecosystem. Having built and delivered close to a dozens of sites for clients using various plugins and solutions, we can give you proper advice.

What Makes Directorist Different

Compared to the other directory plugins for WordPress, Directorist is built by an established and hungry team, SovWare. This ensures that you get a high quality plugin that is being rapidly worked on and improved based on user feedback.

We have also asked the Directorist team, hard questions and always got a prompt reply, demonstrating quality support from Directorist.

Who is Directorist For?

If you run a small-medium business and are looking to create a directory-based site or enhance your site with a directory, you need to consider Directorist.

Directorist is good for people who want an advanced directory site on WordPress, as it comes with advanced features.

Directorist can be used for many industries. Be it a regular business directory, or one that just showcases dentists, gyms, restaurants or law firms, Directorist is a good fit.

Strengths of Directorist

Directorist comes with a bunch of features that helps the plugin to stand out from the crowded WordPress directory plugins crowd. Some of these features are unique to Directories and can provide immediate benefit to both users and business owners. We will list out five of our favorites below.

Live Chat / Private Message

Directorist Live Chats

While having a business directory is good, even better is having the ability for visitors to live chat or private message the business on your directory. This will result in higher conversions and keeps both business owners and users, happy.

Ultimately, the live chat / private message option differentiates good from great directory plugins and is the first thing we look for when considering a directory plugin.

Listing FAQs

Directorist Listing FAQs

When you run a directory with diverse businesses, a listing FAQs will help cut down on queries, as each business can serve their list of frequently asked questions.

And yes, you can do this with separate knowledge base or FAQ plugins, but why the hassle? With the built-in FAQs widget, you can ensure every listing will have its own FAQ section.

Bookings (Reservations & Appointments)

Directorist Booking

Directorist has another killer feature that most other directory plugins lack, the ability to take reservations and appointments via its booking extension.

Granted, the bookings extension is still quite limited, but it is still better than not having any. With the bookings extension, business owners are able to set up time slots.

We hope to see this extension mature in the future, so that we will create complex appointments and reservations. Furthermore, it would be great if we could also integrate payment gateways or find a way to collect and pay various businesses who monetize their appointments. (e.g: Doctors, Lawyers, Consultants and Coaches)

Page Builder Integration

Page Builder Integration is a must if you want to create beautiful business directories or adjust the layouts without working through the code.

Though Directorist only works with Elementor, integration with popular page builders such as Beaver Builder, Oxygen and Divi, and the Gutenberg Block Editor are underway.

Directorist does have a weakness though. The page builder widgets are integrated to the theme, not as a separate extension, which would make Directorist more powerful.

WPML Integration (Coming Soon)

Directorist has an upcoming integration with WPML, the leading WordPress multilingual plugin. This means, with WPML, you will be able to have your business directory in multiple languages and have get more traffic for businesses in your directory.

Weaknesses of Directorist

Directorist isn’t perfect. While it is rapidly improving and has cutting edge features to help you create world-class business directories, it still lacks in features that will make it visibly the best. Here are some things Directorist could work on.

Social Network Importer

By having a Social Network Importer, business owners will be able to quickly import their information from Facebook, Foursquare, Yelp or TripAdvisor, which means more revenue for you, more content for search engines and a better experience for everyone involved.

Flexible Layout

Directorist Review - a view of the backend
Editing a listing on Directorist’s dlist theme

Unlike Toolset or Crocoblock, which allows us the freedom to create flexible directories, Directorist has a fixed layout for their individual listing pages. We hope to be able to take over the pages with Elementor and other page builders in the future so that we could truly build unique world-class directories.

WP All Import Integration

Integrating WP All Import will allow us to import in listings from various directory plugins, which makes transitioning to Directorist, easier.

Toolset / JetEngine / ACF Integration

Directorist comes with its own custom post type, which enables users to easily filter through listings. However, if would be better if we could have an option for integration with Toolset, JetEngine or Advanced Custom Fields, as these are powerful tools and will bring Directorist to the next level.

Multiple Custom Post Types

If we could have multiple custom post types, we will be able to have different listings for different types of businesses. This means, within a business directory, we can have listings that will look like

'/lawyers/abc-law-firm/' and '/doctors/abc-clinic/'

Social Proof

Directorist is a well-loved plugin with more than a hundred reviewers giving them a 5 star rating on the WordPress directory. Here are some of them:

Easily the best directory plugin out there

Directorist is easily the best directory plugin out there that balances user friendly functionality with powerful customization ability with beautiful aesthetics. Super happy that I went with Directorist!

DSecomb

Simply the best directory plugin

I tried several plugins, inluding paid ones on that canyon costing over 60 bucks, they did not satisfy at all. Directorist is super customizable, the devs are really helpful and the prices or their extensions are very reasonable.

Would recommend to anyone who is looking for a directory plugin. Even without paid upgrades, it’s a true beast!

collin43

Alternatives

If you prefer a different look or set of features, here are some alternative directory plugins. They are good in their own way, but some might lack features that Directorist has.

GeoDirectory

GeoDirectory is arguably the best directory plugin for WordPress. It is also more expensive than Directorist. While Directorist comes a close second (and is the best directory plugin in terms of potential and growth), GeoDirectory is the best in terms of maturity and feature set.

GeoDirectory comes with an in-depth user reviews section, the ability to detect duplicate listings, integration with Beaver Builder, BuddyBoss, Ninja Forms and WP All Import. They also allow you to edit single listing templates via Elementor’s Theme Builder.

However, GeoDirectory misses out on our favourites, booking, live chat and listing FAQs. If you need to choose between the both of them, it is best to look at their features and purchase the one with the closest feature set that you need.

Or you can be like me and go for potential, which Directorist has in spades.

Business Directory

We wanted to like the Business Directory plugin. As part of Strategy11, the same company behind Formidable Forms, Business Directory looks slick and like a winner.

However, once we did an in-depth comparison table, we quickly realized that Business Directory is actually quite limited. And it’s expensive too.

Listify

Listify looks great out of the box but suffers from the same weaknesses that Business Directory has, limited features. It uses WP Job Manager for its listings, which is frankly, underwhelming.

Listify doesn’t handle custom fields well and requires adding some code snippets to your child theme, or buying a premium plugin. As Astoundify, the company behind Listify, has been sold recently, we recommend holding off from buying Listify, but for you to consider Directorist or GeoDirectory.

Toolset

Toolset isn’t a directory plugin. Rather, it is the leading custom post type plugin for WordPress. However, you can build a competent Directory with Toolset as it allows you to have a faceted search for your listings.

You can also create flexible layouts, which Directorist lacks for now. Other than that, we would recommend Directorist due to its advanced features, and it’s ambitious but achievable roadmap.

Personally, I’m looking to apply Directorist to one of my BuddyBoss projects.

Directorist Review: The Conclusion

There are many WordPress directory plugins and themes, but Directorist stands out as one of the best WordPress directories plugins, both in price and features. Coupled with a large and ambitious development team, Directorist looks to go places.

If you find our Directorist review useful, do grab yourself a copy before Directorist decides to increase their price or limit the number of sites for their agency license.

Directorist Review
  • Features
  • Price
  • Looks
  • Customer Support
  • Potential
4.4

Summary

Directorist is a fast-growing WordPress directory plugin with a lot of cool features to help you create a world-class business directory. While it isn’t fully matured yet, with enough time, Directorist has the chance to being the best WordPress directory plugin

Pros

  • Lifetime Prices are availabe
  • Live Chat
  • Listing FAQs
  • Elementor Integration
  • Bookings
  • Upcoming WPML and BuddyBoss integrations

Cons

  • Unable to adjust single listings via page builder
  • Lacks a social network importer
  • No Toolset, JetEngine or ACF support
  • Unable to import via WP All Import
  • Doesn’t have multiple custom post types support, yet
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Leo Koo
I run a small agency building and maintaining turnkey and bespoke WordPress sites. I also review WordPress plugins and digital marketing tools while running this site and the WPStarters Facebook Group. Do swing by and say hi :)
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